ORA: An Intuitive Redesign of the Menstrual Cup and Applicator
The Ora cup and applicator is a self-care product duo for young teenagers to alleviate the intimidation of folding and inserting menstrual cups. We named our brand Ora for two reasons. First, the direct definition of ora is "an opening or entrance to a passage at the cervix". Second, In Japanese culture, moms would say "ora" to their kids to get their attention. This really emphasized the brand's intention of parents providing support to their kids during their menstruation process.
The menstrual cup is designed to have a universal fold that works with an applicator for teenagers to alleviate the intimidation of folding and inserting menstrual cups. We believe that the best approach to menstrual care must be natural, intuitive, predictable, and reliable. Our mission is to create eco-friendly, high-performance products that are both healthy for your body and the planet. We as a team are dedicated to promoting menstrual education and equity to provide equal opportunity for every young individual to have access to clean and reliable menstrual products.
As a team we carefully researched the available menstrual cups on the market and saw an opportunity to design specifically for teenagers and first-time users. We aimed to create a menstrual cup and applicator that intuitively helps follow a universal fold for easy insertion.
Through our research with health care professionals and gynecologists we learned that menstrual cups are the safest period hygiene products. Despite having a learning curve, menstrual cups are safer compared to tampons since there is a low risk for toxic shock syndrome and once users learn it, they will never feel it in their vaginal canal. We were also interested in the opportunity to help teenagers develop healthy new habits from the group up. According to psychologists, habits are easier to make than break. Since, young female teenagers must anyway learn how to use any menstrual product, we saw an opportunity to help them make a better long-tern choice by an intuitive menstrual cup and applicator.
Further on, we interviewed 16 individuals asking them questions about the successes and challenges with using menstrual products. We found that the consistent problem of using a menstrual cup was in the folding and insertion process. One participant explained "Learning how to fold it and insert it in a way that worked for my body was challenging." Another shared, "I gave up when I was unable to correctly insert the cup after several attempts." These insights lead us to brainstorm more user-friendly approaches to menstrual products. We started with concept ideation and then explored and tested prototypes. Our final working prototype emphasized three key steps for inserting the menstrual cup. First, the push stick helps place the menstrual cup into the applicator without the need to fold it. Second, the translucent silicone applicator head must be inserted into the vaginal canal (about 2 inches). Third, the push stick helps realize the cup . If inserted correctly, there should be no discomfort. The menstrual cup is designed with internal ribs that allows the soft silicone cup to fully open and pop in place when inserted.
We designed Ora's branding and packaging to appeal to our target audience. Research shows that high-saturated colors are a very popular marketing technique to attract teenagers because saturated colors are easier for young/developing eyes to see. Therefore, we incorporated bright gradients as our main graphic direction to convey an energetic, fresh, and bold vibe. For our product, we looked into colors from nature. We integrated colors of overlapping flower petals and leaves to create an inviting color palate. Lastly, we also designed social media and website mockups to appeal to young teenagers, educational institutions and parents to learn about our product.